Patients starting to demand digital healthcare, says Accenture

An Accenture survey highlights how healthcare is going to have to go through that same customer-led digital transformation process as other industries.

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The healthcare industry will have to take its patient relations digital if it's going to keep millennial and gen Z patients in the fold, according to an Accenture survey.

The survey, based on 2,338 U.S. healthcare consumers at least 18 years old, highlights how healthcare is going to have to go through that same customer-led digital transformation process as other industries. As younger generations age and need more healthcare they are likely to force new models and touch points ranging from email and text to telemedicine and clinics.

Accenture released the survey at the HIMSS conference in Orlando. Accenture's findings highlight the moving parts behind digital healthcare. ZDNet recently launched a multi-part series on how the NHS in the U.K. was wrestling with going digital

Also: The NHS and technology: How innovation is changing healthcare (free PDF) | Why the NHS is killing paper records to save lives | Smart watches, fitness trackers and the NHS: Are wearables just what the doctor ordered?

Tech vendors such as Salesforce are already seeing digital health as growth avenues as patient management is a natural extension of customer relationships


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Among the key takeaways:

  • Millennials are two to three times more likely than baby boomers to be dissatisfied with appointment times, location and effectiveness of care. Among Gen Z respondents, 32 percent were dissatisfied with care effectiveness.
  • The primary care physician may be losing his or her role as gatekeeper. Accenture found 55 percent of Gen Z had a primary care physician with 67 of millennials having one. For comparison, 84 percent of baby boomers had a primary care physician.
  • 41 percent of millennials are using retail clinics for routine medical services and 39 percent of that group has tried virtual care.
  • Consumers prefer non-traditional venues over traditional ones for cold and virus treatments and flue shots.
  • Digital self-service is a must has more than half of respondents use wearables or apps to manage lifestyle and health as well as virtual nurses. See: How the Apple Watch Saved My LifeWhat is digital health? Everything you need to know about the future of healthcare
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For the healthcare industry, digital touch points are becoming critical. Younger generations are likely to choose medical providers with digital tools for test results, prescriptions and booking. 

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